Building Effective Leaders

The most important factor going forward in today’s unpredictable world is leadership within communities. That is why it is more important than ever to join the Roaring Fork Valley’s foremost leadership and professional development program, Roaring Fork Leadership’s (RFL) Academy.

Today’s leaders require skills that transform conflict into collaboration for effective results, personal agendas into agreements, and business as usual into an inspirational call to action. The annual program – the Academy entails taking 40 community members through 100+ hours, over 10 months (August through May).  They represent a diverse blend of individuals from a broad range of public, private, non-profit, health, education, and business sectors.  Inside of the ‘Academy’ participants take on civic projects as a ‘laboratory’ for practicing new ways of ‘being’ a leader.

RFL is now accepting applications for our annual leadership program, RFL Academy 2022.

How does it work?

Participants learn the power of perception, the dynamics of trust and their own personal style. They will recognize and be able to change old patterns and build new ones through three areas of exploration:

  • Personal growth and development
  • Skill building
  • Working in a team on a civic project

The group divides into teams of 6-8 individuals and chooses a civic project presented by community sponsors. The project is a laboratory for practicing leadership and making a difference in the community. Past projects have included Smiling Goat Ranch strategic development, CARE Pet-Friendly Housing Initiative, APCHA Public Awareness Campaign and Project PACK.

Why Join?

“The Community Tool Box”, by the University of Kansas’s declaration on the ‘needs for formal leadership development within a community:’

“In working to improve our communities, leadership is our most important resource. It is the engine that pulls the train. If you are involved in any group or organization, you will need to develop leadership in order to accomplish anything of significance. Why? Because it is leaders who make things happen. It is leaders who have a vision, take initiative, influence people, make proposals, organize logistics, solve problems, follow-up, and most of all — take responsibility. This is why leadership development should be a central activity for any community.”

  • Mutual Support & Accountability
  • Differing perspectives
  • Resources
  • Be part of an exclusive community/group
  • Collaboration
  • Networking
  • Think Bigger

How many people are in the Academy?

It is limited to 40 people per program.

What is the civic project element of the program?

Each year the Roaring Fork Leadership Class is divided into project teams (with 6-8 participants in each) that take on a civic project.  The purpose of these teams is to provide participants the opportunity to practice their skills learned in the program while making an impact in the community.  The skills include – the process of collaboration, consensus building, team decision making, leading change, facilitation, and conflict resolution. Through the practice of these essential and vital leadership skills participants discover the value of creativity, empathy, openness, discipline, and closure – and most importantly the power to make a difference for themselves and the community. Click here for more information about civic projects and/or to submit your project for consideration.

What are the outcomes of the Academy?

Outside of being a transformational experience, these are known as the outcomes on our graduates and the community.

  1. Graduates recognize themselves as a member of a larger social fabric and therefore, consider social problems to be at least partly their own.
  2. Graduates demonstrate effective leadership through developing skills in the areas of critical thinking, collaboration, and embracing the diversity of others.
  3. Graduates ‘step up’ to community leadership roles and opportunities in both political and non-political arenas.
  4. Graduates join the RFL Alumni and build their connections and resources in our community.

Application and Selection Process

The application and selection process strives to create a diverse representation of the Roaring Fork Valley community.

  • Each application must include the completed application form by July 15, 2021. Priority is given to applications as they are received.
  • Tuition for RFL Academy 2022 is $2950.  Monthly payment plans are available and are encouraged if a lump sum payment is not possible.
  • There will be an interview in June, prior to acceptance, to ensure fit.
  • Applicants are notified within one week after their interview.

To submit an application, please complete our online application, see the top of this page.

Graduation Requirements

Participation in RFL Academy requires a commitment of time and energy. Please consider carefully the following requirements.

  • Participants who miss more than 2 meetings will be required to withdraw from the program. The integrity of the program requires that participants be present at all sessions to both learn the leadership skills and to develop personal relationships.
  • Complete all reading and writing assignments in a timely manner.
  • Respect the confidential nature of the comments and discussion made during the group meetings.
  • Tuition fee paid as outlined in the payment agreement.
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Nominate a Leader
Civic Project Criteria and Application
View RFL Academy 2021 Participants

Academy’s 11 Sessions

RFL Academy 2021 LMS (Access for RFL Academy 2021 Participants)